Christmas is time for giving, showing kindness towards each other. Whether it’s love, gifts, gestures or even prayers, showing your support gives extra meaning to this special time of year.
Florida businessman Michael Esmond agrees with this. Esmond was also struggling to make ends meet back in 1980’s. He actually spent Christmas 1983 with his 3 daughters without heat and power because he couldn’t pay for overdue bills.
Now that things got better, he completely understands those struggling to pay their bills so he did an incerdibly wonderful thing for the people of the Gulf Breeze community where he lives. According to reports, as many as 36 families were at risk of having their power supplies disconnected because their electricity was to be turned off.
Esmond wasn’t about to let that happen. Instead, he paid all their bills ahead of Christmas, so that this holiday season they won’t have to worry about them. As Esmond explained to CNN, all told it cost him about $5,000.
He explained: “I actually lived that back in the 1980s. I experienced the same thing, having trouble paying bills. My gas was shut off, and we had no heating for the whole winter.
“It was one of the coldest winters in Florida; temperature got down to the single digits.
“That was definitely in my mind when I received the bill this year.”
Esmond lives in a close community numbering around 6,000 people. He says the response has been overwhelming.
“I got a great feedback on my Facebook page and business phone. People were texting me and calling me to thank me for what I had done,” he said.
“It made me cry. It made me cry,” Joanne Oliver, Gulf Breeze’s utility billing supervisor, told CNN affiliate WEAR . “For someone like him, a veteran to come in and do some grand gesture. It was heartfelt for me.”
Instead of a warning that their power would soon be cut off, the residents who benefitted from Esmond’s charity received instead a letter that read: “It is our honor and privilege to inform you that your past due utility bill has been paid by Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas. You can rest easier this holiday season knowing you have one less bill to pay. On behalf of Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas, we here at the City of Gulf Breeze would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season.“
Wow! What a fantastic gesture from Michael Esmond. We’re sure many families will have a far easier Christmas because of it.
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